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ABC's of Learning Styles




Learning styles facilitators script
Learning styles response sheet
Learning styles handout for your students
“A”, “B”, and “C” signs (on bright paper)


30-45 minutes


To determine your learning styles


Tape the A, B, and C signs in 3 different sections of the room. 

Distribute a pen and a response sheet to each student. 

Read aloud the facilitator script.

Once the purpose of the activity is understood, read aloud the first  “When you…” statement followed by choices A, B, and C (keep the learning style that corresponds to each letter a secret).  Each student will then circle the letter on his/her response sheet that they most identify with.  They will then walk towards and stand near the sign for that letter.
Repeat this process for each of the “When you…” statements.

After all statements have been read, ask students to determine their dominant letter and move to the section of the room where that letter is posted.  Follow-up by providing each student with a learning style hand-out.  Then, beginning with visual learners, read aloud one-by-one each of the learning style suggestions and ask the students in that group to raise their hand for each suggestion/technique that they use.

Repeat this process for Auditory and Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners.



Distribute the handout on learning styles and discuss:
Do you agree or disagree with your results? Why or why not?

What did you learn new about the way you learn and process information?

Were you surprised by your learning style?  Why?

What do you currently do that supports and assists your learning style?

How do you need to adjust or modify your classroom, homework, and/ or study habits to best work with your learning style?  Do you think you will do this?

Other than your learning style, did you learn anything else about yourself from this activity?




Determining Your Learning Style

Facilitator Script: This activity can help you to determine your learning style.  I am going to ask you a question that begins with “When you…” For each question I ask, I will provide you with three methods of responding: A, B, or C.   Once you have determined the response that fits you best, circle the corresponding letter on your response sheet and then stand in the section of the room that corresponds with your chosen letter.  You may find that your responses fall into all three categories, but you will likely notice one category will dominate the others. This dominant category indicates your primary

When you

A - Visual

B - Auditory

C - Kinesthetic & Tactile


Do you try to see the word?

Do you sound out the word or use a phonetic approach?

Do you write the word down to find if it feels right?


Do you dislike listening for too long?  (Do you favor words such as see, picture, and imagine?)

Do you enjoy listening but are impatient to talk? (Do you use words such as hear, tune, and think?)

Do you gesture and use expressive movements? (Do you use words such as feel, touch, and hold?)


Does untidiness or movement distract you?

Do you become distracted by sounds or noises?

Do you become distracted by activity around you?

Meet someone again

Do you forget names but remember faces or remember where you met?

Do you forget faces but remember names or remember what you talked about?

Do you remember best what you did together?

Contact people on business

Do you prefer direct, face-to-face, personal meetings?

Do you prefer the telephone?

Do you talk with them while walking or participating in an activity?


Do you like descriptive scenes or pause to imagine the actions?

Do you enjoy dialog and conversation or hear the characters talk?

Do you prefer action stories or are not a keen reader?

Do something new at work

Do you like to see demonstrations, diagrams, slides, or posters?

Do you prefer verbal instructions or talking about it with someone else?

Do you prefer to jump right in and try it?

Put something together

Do you look at the directions and the picture?

Do you call the help number, ask a friend, or yell in frustration?

Do you ignore the directions and figure it out as you go along?


University of Rhode Island, Office of Internships and Experiential Education, Cassidy, Fall 2005

Activity developed from information retrieved from on 11/1/05

Understanding Your Learning Style!

In order to be a successful student and learner, it is important to identify your learning style. Once you have figured out the way you learn, you will need to use specific strategies to fit into your way of learning.  For example, if you are a visual learner, you could use a highlighter when reading a textbook. The bright color would appeal to your artistic sense and help you concentrate on the reading. 

Visual Learners: Learn through seeing...

These learners need to see the teacher's body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of a lesson. They tend to prefer sitting at the front of the classroom to avoid visual obstructions (e.g. people's heads). They may think in pictures and learn best from visual displays including: diagrams, illustrated textbooks, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and hand-outs.  During a lecture or classroom discussion, visual learners often prefer to take detailed notes to absorb the information.

Suggestions for Visual Learners

  • Use visual materials such as pictures, charts, maps, graphs, etc.
  • Make and use flashcards for studying.  The act of writing explanations on the cards and viewing them will increase comprehension
  • Organize materials/notes so it is easy to remember content 
  • Have a clear view of your teachers when they are speaking so you can see their body language and facial expression
  • Use color to highlight important points in text
  • Use visual metaphors to associate information
  • Take notes or ask your teacher to provide handouts
  • Illustrate your ideas as a picture or brainstorming bubble before writing them down
  • Use multi-media (e.g. computers, videos, and filmstrips)
  • Study in a quiet place away from verbal disturbances
  • Visualize information as a picture to aid memorization
  • Use guided imagery
  • Actively review photographs or diagrams in your text prior to reading the chapter

Auditory Learners: Learn through listening...They learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say. Auditory learners interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. Written information may have little meaning until it is heard. These learners often benefit from reading text aloud and using a tape recorder.

Suggestions for Auditory Learners

  • Participate in class discussions/debates
  • Make speeches and presentations
  • Use a tape recorder during lectures instead of taking notes
  • Work with a study partner for discussion
  • Create musical jingles to aid memorization
  • Create mnemonics to aid memorization
  • Discuss your ideas verbally and read the text aloud
  • Dictate to someone while they write down your thoughts
  • Use verbal analogies, and story telling to demonstrate your point
  • Find audiotapes that review the information you are trying to learn

 Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners: Learn through moving, doing and touching...

Tactile/Kinesthetic persons learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them. They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration.

Suggestions for Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners
  • Take frequent study breaks
  • Move around to learn new things (e.g. read while on an exercise bike, mold a piece of clay to learn a new concept)
  • Hold the book in your hand while reading
  • Write while you are reading and talking
  • Spend extra time in labs associated with the course
  • Use bright colors to highlight reading material
  • Dress up your work space with posters
  • Listen to music while you study
  • Use gestures and stand up when giving explanations
  • Make flashcards for each step in the procedure.  Put the cards in order until the sequence becomes automatic.
  • Skim through reading material to get a rough idea what it is about before settling down to read it in detail.

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